Win a Kryptonite light set


Enter for a chance to win a Kryptonite Light Prize Pack! Start clickin’ below to earn 20+ entries. Once you enter, you’ll receive an email with additional sharing instructions to improve your odds! 🙌

The Alley F-800 & Avenue R-75 Set is our highest lumen level light set with:

Alley F-800 = 800 lumen level light
Avenue R-75 = 75 lumen level light

Both lights have 6 different modes of operation and DayTime/NightTime Pulse modes, specifically engineered to be more visible during daytime/nighttime use—displaying unique flash patterns that demand the attention of motorists.
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Win a prize package from Knog


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Knog has teamed up with us to give one lucky winner a  light set and apparel prize package. Enter to win below!


PWR Commuter is a 450 lumen LED front bike light that can also be used as a power bank. Includes the option to program your brightness and runtime (through ModeMaker app), or use remaining battery to charge your phone or cycle computer on the go. The Mr Chips MOB V rear bike light uses COB LED tech to pump out 44 lumens of light in a 120° beam ensuring you are well seen not just from the rear, but from the side too. And its secret weapon? 3x rear interchangeable straps so you can swap these tail lights between bikes with different sized seatposts – including aero seatposts. Also, this comp gives you the chance to get your hands on a cap, musette and t-shirt from the limited edition Knog x Leave Pass range. This is a limited edition apparel range has been designed in collaboration with “Leave Pass”, to help you look more badass (than you know you really are .)

Complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. November 1, 2017 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice. – If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey
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Review: NiteRider Lumina 950 OLED Boost and Solas 100

Ed. Note: Since the time of this review, the 950 has been replaced with a 1100 lumen version with the same features and price. 

The Lumina OLED 950 Boost is NiteRider’s flagship road and commuter headlight, offering five steady light levels and four daylight flash modes all packed within a sleek, lightweight IP64 rated shell. Meaning, it’s dust tight and water resistant.

Versatility is the theme of this headlight. Being seen on your morning commute using the daylight flash mode, check. Late night trail ride with the steady beam of 800 lumens, check. Evening hike in the woods with the significant other using the 40 lumen walk mode, check. Getting lost during that evening hike and needing to send out an SOS signal, it has that too! This light is more than capable of handling whatever you may dish out at it.


The most interesting feature of the Lumina OLED 950 Boost is its digital display. No more guessing if you have enough battery life to make it to and from a last minute trip to the six-pack shop or if you are able to commute the long way home from work. The easy to read digital screen displays the remaining battery time and even offers a (get ready to queue Europe) final countdown once you hit those final minutes of life. I found myself really appreciating this feature as I often neglect my light charging duties, constantly challenging how many rides I could get between charges, trying to outdo the previous. NiteRider did an excellent job displaying the battery percentage readout while charging and initial device power up and then displaying actual time remaining while in use. I was even pleasantly surprised by the display’s brightness level, a perfect balance of being able to easily read at quick glance and not being a distraction. I typically don’t care for bright gizmos disrupting my owl-like night vision, so major kudos to the design team on this one.

The Lithium-ion battery offers Intellicharge, which is able to utilize the increased amperage when plugged into the wall at 1000 mA versus a lower output, such as your computer, at 500 mA. Ultimately, what this means is that if charged using the higher mA, you can reduce your standard six hour charge time in half.


To the rear of the bike, NiteRider’s Solas 100 pairs up nicely, offering two modes of “Daylight Visible Flash” and two steady modes. Between the four modes available you can expect an average of roughly 13.5 hours of run time and a standard charge time of two hours. Like the Lumina OLED 950 Boost, it too is nicely packed into a compact IP64 shell.

An interesting feature of the Solas 100 is the steady “Group Ride Mode” setting which reduces the taillight to roughly 10 lumens and helps to not distract the riders behind you, all while remaining visible. As I found out, this setting is also equally suitable for your long rail trail adventure or B road getaways where you are in darker areas and less likely to run upon motorists. Times when you don’t necessarily need that in your face, hey look at me, notice me, strobe light.

Price: $180


More info and specs and be found online here.


Review: Exposure Strada 1200

By Adam Newman

Exposure lights have never had the kind of…er…um…exposure…in the U.S. that they deserve. Now with an exclusive distributor for North America, they’re making another push to show that they’re the sugar in your Earl Grey. Yes, Exposure lights hail from the U.K., where they’re fitted with the latest electronics and batteries inside a CNC machined, waterproof housing.

The Strada 1200 was new for 2017, and specifically designed for road and commuting use. High powered mountain bike lights have been this bright for years, but the Strada has a wide, flat beam that can illuminate the edges of the roadway without blinding oncoming drivers.


On the rear of the aluminum cylinder body is the “Fuel Gauge,” an organic LED that can display words and numbers instead of just colored lights. For example, it can tell you the light is in HIGH mode, has 87 percent battery life left and will run for 2:45 until empty. It’s a godsend compared to most lights that don’t do more than turn from green to red when they get low, if that.

That won’t happen often with the Strada though. The 7,800 mAh battery can run for three hours on high and 36 hours on low, which is easily a week or two’s worth of commuting through city streets. It takes nine hours to complete a full charge through the port on the rear of the unit. Though it can be charged via USB, it uses a cable with a proprietary plug on one end. On the back of the light the charging port is also used for the included remote control and other accessories. Those features are nice, but I’ll always deduct points for a proprietary cable.


Topping it all off (well, it’s actually underneath) is the best quick-release bracket in the business, a solid chunk of aluminum that locks into place like a rifle bolt. Downsides? Well, for one, it’s not small. The cylinder is nearly the size of a Red Bull can, and the price is even bigger. But you get what you pay for here, because it’s pretty much the Cadillac…no, make that Jaguar of bike lights.

Price: $391




Interbike 2017 – Day 2

Here are a few random tidbits we found on our second day of roaming the floor at the last Interbike in Vegas:

Pearl Izumi Versa collection

Pearl Izumi says that the Versa line is “bike clothing specifically made for nothing specific,” meaning that it was designed for riding but bridges the gap between road, mountain and urban styles and is casual enough to wear around town and not look like you just rode your bike. The lineup includes short and long sleeve shirts, quilted hoodies, jackets, baggy shorts, long sleeve pants, a tank top and liner shorts in both men’s and women’s styles. The fall pieces are available now, while the other items will be rolling out in the spring.



Pinhead Locks

Pinhead is an anti-theft system for the entire bike, including locks for your components as well as your frame. Options include quick release and thru axle wheel locks, seatpost collar locks and headset locks. When you buy a Pinhead lock, you’re given a special key code that can then be used to make duplicate or replacement keys, and one key can be used to unlock all the locks on your bike, even if you buy them all at different times. Locks can be bought separately or in the complete package for $160.



iOmounts Nomad

The iOmounts Nomad is a magnetic mount designed for bicycle handlebars to keep your smartphone handy if you’re using it for navigation or otherwise need it in a visible location while riding. Stick one side of the magnetic mounting system on the back of your phone case or whatever else you want to mount (GPS, bluetooth speaker, etc) and strap the other side to your bars. The strap mount fits anything a half inch to two inches in diameter and the magnets are definitely seem pretty strong (I tried to pull them apart on the showroom floor and barely could). The Nomad retails for $55.


Osprey duffel bags

Osprey really stepped up their duffel bag game this year with the addition of two different families of bags – the Transporter series and an organizational series that consists of the Trailkit, Snowkit and Bigkit. The Transporter bags are designed so that you can just throw everything inside and go, while the other three offer more organizational pockets. All these duffels can also be used as backpacks and at first glance seem to be very durable and water resistant.



Road Runner Bags

Road Runner Bags are all handmade to order in Los Angeles and cater to messengers, commuters and bikepackers. The company creates a diverse line of products ranging from hip packs to backpacks to bags that can mount just about anywhere on your bike. Most of its bags are constructed from heavy duty cordura but it also uses X-Pac (same material as what is used on bags like Revelate Designs, for example) as well as other materials on occasion. Bag colors can be customizable when you order.




Arsenal Cycling lights

Arsenal Cycling launched recently with a set of synchronized lights that can be attached to multiple places on your bike or person to help motorists gauge distance and aid in visibility. The set of four lights (three red and one white) are connected via bluetooth-like technology and if you change the blink pattern or turn one light off, they all change with it. The full light set comes with several different mounting options and a charger that allows you to charge all four lights at once with one USB port and retails for $150.



Four high-quality front lights that won’t break the bank

By Jeffrey Stern

A couple weeks ago we covered four great options for rear lights while riding late into the day and evening during summer adventures on your favorite backgrounds. Now that we have your tail covered, we want to make sure you can see everything in your path. There’s nothing worse than a flimsy, dim light with a short battery capacity.

In that light (pun intended), we went on the hunt for a few high-quality, USB rechargeable front lights to complete your cycling illumination package.

Featuring panels to emit light visible to motorists and other cyclists from the side, the Blackburn Central 200 front light is a powerful 200 lumen light in a small package. An LED charge indicator has four colors to let you know how much of the three hour (low mode) runtime you have remaining. A swivel mount allows for easy adjustment and the silicon attachment strap fits handlebars from 22-35mm and even doubles as a helmet attachment. The Central 200 comes in four different waterproof colors, weighs only 63 grams and will set you back $40.


NiteRider is known for making powerful lights with wired battery packs allowing you to run a near spotlight beam for hours on end into the night. Their Swift 350 front light is one of actually a few exceptions to that norm, delivering reliable performance in a compact and economical bundle. This light from the night riding specialists boasts 350 lumens with five different flashing modes. In high mode, you can expect 1.5 hours of illumination, but in low mode (70 lumens) the battery is estimated to last 6.5 hours. The body of the light is made of fiberglass reinforced plastic that’s water/dust proof. It also features a unique walk mode with 21 hours of battery life, just in case you find your bike inoperable in the middle of the woods and you have to hoof it home – all for just $35.


If you’re looking to step your light game up a few notches for not much more of an investment, the Cygolite Dash 460 offers more lumens with 5 LEDs, a maximum 63-hour battery life (in quad LED flash mode) and eight separate beam modes to cover all types of scenarios in the dark or low light settings. The lithium ion-charged, powerful package is a bit heavier at 75 grams, but takes only three hours to fill up completely. Enhanced cycling optics help to widen and lengthen the lights beam ahead creating a bright path. For additional safety, the day lighting mode emits lightning-like flashes for high visibility even during the middle of the afternoon heat. In the low light, night setting mode, the Dash 460 will last an estimated and impressive nine hours at the cool price of $55.


Some of the most lumens in the sleekest packages are delivered by the San Luis Obispo, California-based Lezyne. Their Macro Drive 800XL light is the heaviest, but stoutest of the list for good reason. The CNC machined aluminum parts and body create a durable construction for 800 lumens of power from this high performance front cycling light. At max power in the overdrive mode, the ultrahigh LED lights will blast for 1 hour and 40 minutes while in the conservative femto mode the light lasts for a reported 63 hours. A robust silicone strap secures the Macro Drive 800XL easily in place over many types of handlebars. Choose from silver or black, both so stylish they might become your favorite bike accessory for $70.

Once you’re covered from front to rear with the lights of your choice, get out there this summer and ride more miles than you ever have before without fear of losing the sun’s rays!


Four rear lights for summer nights (and beyond)

By Jeffrey Stern 

Although the longest day of the year has passed, there are plenty of late summer nights in our future. When I think of summer, I think of big bike adventures, often planned to be done around dinner time, but also just as often pushed well past twilight. Only for pure enjoyment sake and because you can never say no to one more new trail or road when there’s still a bit of light left in the sky, right?

Too many times this leads to riding home in the dark, sharing lights with a friend or two. The classic, one of you has a front light, the other a rear and the third has neither so they sit in the middle of the reduced peloton on the midnight express through the city streets and back safely home…

Why not nearly guarantee your visibility with a high-quality, USB rechargeable light that will last you for seasons to come? Trust me, your family and tail-wagging pup will thank you when you walk in the door safely all summer long.

The Lezyne Zecto is a high visibility three-LED, 20 lumen light with a built in motion detecting system featuring six different flashing modes. This light will automatically turn off after three minutes of inactivity. With a machined aluminum faceplate and lightweight, yet durable composite matrix body the Zecto it is as sturdy as functional. At a svelte 47 grams, this micro-USB rechargeable light also has a versatile clip-on system for easy attachment to your seatpost, pannier or backpack and only costs $50.


At 65 lumens, Trek’s Bontrager Flare R Tail Light features a CREE LED that can reportedly be seen from over 2km away day or night. With two night and two day modes, the 270-degree visibility offered by the Flare provides the ultimate safety options for all-day riding. A unique battery save mode kicks in at 5% life to get you home safely in that last hour of your ride. The quick connect bracket and 16 degree offset makes attachment and adjustment a breeze for this features loaded $60 USB rechargeable light.


If you have a little more to spend and are looking for the increased safety of a built in camera, look no further than the Cycliq Fly 6 bike camera. The Fly 6 is a waterproof rear light with 720p HD camera in case of an on-road accident. At just over 100 grams with a 100-degree view, this light/camera combo watches your back by recording in 10 minute intervals so you can ride stress free. Run time is rated at six-plus hours and the Fly 6 comes with an 8GB Class 10 MicroSD card as well as USB cable. Substantially more than most rear lights at $140, it’s well worth the investment if your rides take you on the narrow shoulders of busy roads frequently, for increased peace of mind for you and your family.


The Cygolight Hotshot 50 delivers a lot of power, to the tune of 50 lumens, in a small and affordable package. It’s lithium-ion battery is charged lightning quick via USB and the six different light speeds are user-adjustable. With 500 hours of use available on a single charge and costing a cool $30, this might be the best bang-for-your-buck rear light option on the market.


Check back next week for our picks for the best front lights for your summer riding and ride safety!


Trek issues voluntary nationwide recall of select Bontrager lights

In a coordinated effort with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Trek is issuing a voluntary recall of select Bontrager Flare RT lights sold individually as well as Bontrager Ion 700 RT front lights sold as part of the Bontrager Transmtr Set with Remote.


This recall was prompted by the discovery that the lights can turn off without warning when paired with a remote transmitter. To date, no injuries involving the affected lights have been reported. Upon discovery, the company immediately contacted the CPSC to begin the process of the recall action it is announcing today. The recall affects 700 lights located in the US, Canada, UK, and Japan.

Owners of Flare RT lights should check their light for the date code located on the back of the light. If the date code is between Af0400001 and Af0400407, it is affected by this recall. The date code of the affected Ion 700 RT is 1606 and is located on the bottom of the light under the charging port cover.

Trek is taking proactive measures to bring attention to this issue by reaching out through its global network of authorized retailers. As part of this voluntary recall, Trek will provide a free replacement light through its authorized retailers. To incentivize owners of the affected lights to return them, Trek will be issuing a $20 coupon good towards any Trek or Bontrager product for every light returned.

Authorized Trek retailers have been notified of the issue, and replacement lights are currently shipping to shops in the US, Canada, UK, and Japan. Owners of the affected models can expect fast service and replacement parts.


Bontrager encourages daytime running lights for bikes

They’ve been on motorcycles forever, and more recently cars have adopted them too, so why not bikes?

Daytime running lights can significantly improve your visibility on the road, Bontrager says, and the brand is touting its new line of front and rear bike lights as specifically designed for both day and night use. Bontrager says it is just the first step in a sweeping line of products to make cycling safer. Since safety concerns are the number one impediment to get new cyclists out on a bike, we think it’s a great move.


Bontrager says the data it has collected show accidents decreased 25 percent after automobiles adopted daytime running lights, and cycling accidents could be reduced by a third. Because 80 percent of bicycle accidents occur during daylight hours, the brand feels there is a big opportunity for positive change. Just a few days ago I was driving on a twisty mountain road and the cyclists on the road were extremely hard to see as we went from bight sunlight into dark shadows and back again through the trees. A bright light really would have helped.


Optimizing visibility is more than just raw lumens, Bontrager says. The key difference is being seen versus being noticed. It says its line of taillights have blink patterns that are specially designed to be more conspicuous during the day than just a steady blink. It says some are visible from up to two kilometers away.

The lineup


Flare RT tail light

  • 65 lumens and 270 degree visibility.
  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • Visible from 2 kilometers
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes and turn signal compatible.
  • $80


Flare R tail light

  • 65 lumens and 270 degree visibility.
  • Visible from 2 kilometers
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes.
  • $60


Flare R City

  • 35 lumens
  • Visible from 400 meters.
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes.
  • $40


Ion 800 RT

  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • 800 lumens and 270 degrees of visibility.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $120


Ion 800 R

  • 800 lumens and 270 degrees of visibility.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $100


Ion 350 RT

  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • 350 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes. 
  • $80


Ion 350 R

  • 350 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $60


Ion 100 R

  • 100 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $40

bontrager-daytime-running-lights-11 bontrager-daytime-running-lights-10

Ion 100 R / Flare R City set

  • Both models sold as a package deal.
  • $70



Review: Lupine Rotlicht taillight

Let’s get the initial reaction out of the way:

Holy Toledo, $125 is a lotta cash for a taillight!!! OMG, LOL, SMH, etc.


OK, now shake off the bad attitude and read on. Or don’t. I know I was curious what a $125 taillight offers.

The most interesting feature of this light is an accelerometer activated “brake light”. The light senses rapid deceleration and ups the brightness, much like the brake lights on your car or your 1983 RZ350. I’m pretty curious what drivers thought about the brake light feature, if anything at all. I didn’t notice a difference in drivers’ behavior, but without a real scientific study, it would be pretty hard to make a definitive statement about this. I can say with some authority that I don’t think the brake light makes me any less safe, and my gut feeling it that it is a great feature and one we’ll see on more taillights in the future. I rarely ride in groups, but can image this feature being a nice safety feature for those dudes (it is always dudes) who hop, uninvited, into your draft for a free pull down the bike path.

The Rotlight also has an ambient light sensor. As the night gets darker, the light drops its brightness down a few notches, but cranks it back up when it senses brighter lights, such as headlights. Pretty slick, and a good way to conserve battery life on long rides while keeping the safety factor high.


There are four modes to chose from: steady, flash, pulse, and steady-pulse. Steady and flash are self explanatory. Pulse is a less abrupt flash mode and steady-pulse adds the pulse (not flash) mode to a steady beam of light. I’ve quickly become a fan of the steady-pulse mode. It seems to be a great middle ground between the calmer steady mode and the attention-getting (and blood pressure-raising) flash modes of most lights.

And finally, the light can be adjusted to one of four brightness settings in each mode. At the brightest 2 watt mode you get 160 lumens of red light, the lowest 0.1 watts  is 10 lumens. Run times are below. Changing all these setting with a single button interface isn’t the most intuitive thing. Day-to-day operation is fine, but digging deeper to adjust brightness or turn the light sensor or brake light features on and off requires the owners manual nearby. I just kept the pdf saved in my phone for reference.

Mode       Steady        Blink      Pulse      Wave+Pulse

0.1W          30h          60h          —                  25h
0.25W        12h          24h          24h               10h
0.5W          6h            12h          12h                 5h
1W              3h              6h           6h               2:30h
2W             1:30h         3h           3h                  —

The light includes rubber straps in two lengths for any tube between 22 and 55 mm. The back of the light is angled to keep it straight on most common seat tube angles, but it isn’t adjustable for alternate mounting locations like seat stays. Lupine sent along a seat rail mount for the light as well, a $20 option. There are also options for blue or red light bodies, or a red lens instead of the stock clear.

I’ve been lucky enough to review quite a few Lupine products and each time I’ve come away impressed. For riders that are shopping for sturdy but feature-laden lights, Lupine is perhaps the best place to start looking. If price is the number one shopping concern, obviously there are plenty of less expensive options out there. Once set up as I wanted, the Rotlicht was no harder to operate than anything else on the market, but offers a level of customization second to none.

Lupine continues to release class-leading lights to the market, and the Rotlicht is no different. If you love riding with the latest technology, the Rotlicht is your huckleberry.

For U.S. buyers, leads the way. The rest of the world can check out



Review: CatEye Rapid lights

There are a lot of “safety” (as in, be-seen) cycling lights out there and, to be honest, they aren’t all that different. Pick one with a style, price and lumen output that suits your needs and run it until it runs out. When CatEye’s series of Rapid lights showed up, I shrugged, put them on one of my bikes and went about my errand running and rambling.

cateye pair

Rapid X3 (top), Rapid X2 (bottom)

Turns out, I quite like them. These Rapids are aesthetically pleasing and could not be easier to operate. The large, raised power button on the side of each light makes them simple to turn on and off without needing to look down or employ finger gymnastics. The streamlined, non-bulky shape means the Rapids don’t stick out obtrusively and sit tidily in line with seatposts, seatstays, fork legs and handlebars alike. Since I run many of my seatposts low enough that a saddlebag will take up most of the available space, I appreciate the ability to mount the Rapid on a bike’s seatstay.

The light emitted isn’t limited to a single, straight-ahead beam. The light beams fan out nearly 90 degrees on each side, improving your headlight visibility and making it more likely that others will see your rear light, even if they aren’t directly behind you.

cateye lights-4

Rapid X2

The mounting system is as simple as it gets. I applaud the current trend toward lights that are quick to take off and put on without tools, allowing you to swap lights between/among bikes with ease. Each light comes with two sizes of rubber bands for varying post sizes (including aero posts, if that’s your thing) and a clip for using on a backpack or saddle bag. Also available is the “Spacer X,” which allows you to mount the light to other random things, such as rack brackets or specialized saddle clips.

cateye lights-6

Rapid X2

Those rubber bands are easy to lose, especially when you’re regularly undoing the light to charge it. Slide the band over the light or onto the bike’s handlebar as soon as you remove it so that it doesn’t wander off. Also unknown is how long the rubber bands will last with all the stretching. That said, an old-fashioned rubber band from your cubicle desk drawer, or a hair tie, would surely work in a pinch.

cateye lights-8

Rapid X2

The CatEye Rapid light family features three models, each available in red rear and white front lights. They are powered by LEDs and offer several combinations of flashing modes, low battery auto-save functions and side visibility. The lights are charged by micro USB cables (included).

cateye lights-7

Rapid X2

The insanely bright Rapid X3—brighter than even the 65-lumen Bontrager Flare R we tested and liked a few months ago—utilizes two strips of LED lights, which are operated separately by the two side buttons. In all, you can get 48 combinations of light modes out of the X3 and feel more confident about being seen during daylight hours, as well as at night.

Rapid X
Max output: 25 lumens front/rear
Charge time: 2 hours
Run time: 1 hour on high mode to 30 hours on flashing mode
Weight (each): 22 grams
Price (each): $30

Rapid X2
Max output: 100 lumens front/50 rear
Charge time: 2 hours
Run time: 1 hour on high mode to 30 hours on flashing mode
Weight (each): 30.5 grams
Price (each): $50

Rapid X3
Max output: 200 lumens front/100 rear
Charge time: 3 hours
Run time: 1 hour in high mode to 30 hours on flashing mode
Weight (each): 46 grams
Price (each): $60

See all of the lights here: CatEye Safety Lights




Review: Orp headlight / bell / smile machine

What the heck is Orp? Well, it was born in an industrial design studio, was incubated through a crowdfunding session, and now represents a really fun and useful way to stay safe on your bike. The idea started as a horn, a 96-decibel electronic noisemaker, to be exact, that emits a rather obnoxious sound to alert drivers, pedestrians and wandering animals to your presence. It can also emit a friendly bell sound if you’re feeling pleasant. Press up on the Orp’s tail for the happy sound, down for the angry sound. Both sounds also flash the built-in light.


The LED light is more than bright enough to make yourself visible and can be turned on and off independently of the bell sounds. It can operate in steady or blinking mode, emitting 70 lumens on steady and 83 lumens when flashing. The Orp’s plastic body is water resistant, and generally “accident proof” to make you “splatterproof,” and comes in eight fun colors. The whole unit straps to your 31.8 mm handlebars with its built-in stretchy rubber mount, and the packaging includes a rubber shim to fit smaller-diameter handlebars.


The Orp isn’t always on. Because it relies on battery power, you do have to remember to turn it on and off. Because the light and horn operate independently, I found that if the light is off the battery has enough juice to last a week or more if you forget and leave it on. There is no indicator light to tell if it is on, but a quick press of the tail will let you know. It also has a cute power-up or power-down sound. With the light on, Orp claims three hours of run time with the light in steady mode and 11 hours in flash mode.


The best way to make the Orp super practical is to pair it with the “Remorp,” a wired remote that places the controls at your fingertips, either on flat bars or drop bars. It plugs into that black port you see above.

I only had to charge the Orp every couple weeks with the included Micro-USB cord and found it super fun to use, finding excuses to ring the distinctive happy bell sound all over town. If it’s not cute enough for you right out of the box, you can add Orp’s mustache stickers to personalize yours. Stop taking cycling so seriously.

The Orp sells for $65, plus $15 for the remote.
More info:



Field Tested: Satechi RideMate headlight

I thought I knew the bike industry pretty well, but I had never heard of Satechi when I got wind of this new light. Turns out it’s more of a general interest consumer electronics brand that makes gadgets like USB hubs, rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth speakers.


The RideMate light uses a single LED pumping out a claimed 500 lumens. I can’t offer any sort of independent verification of that number, but I’d say it’s in the ballpark. It’s certainly bright enough that it will light your way just fine at speed in the dark and I feel more than comfortable operating it in the lowest of its three settings as a “be-seen” light around town. It also has a flashing mode for daytime use. (For daytime only, people!)

It operates a bit differently than other lights in that it has an on/off button that controls the whole thing, including charging out, and then a separate button that controls the light.

The RideMate is a bit bulky compared to the sleek competition, but the aluminum body is sturdy and looks good. The diffuser in front also wraps around the side body offering a bit of light to enhance your peripheral vision and make you more visible from the side.


The killer feature of the RideMate is that it not only charges with a micro USB, it offers a USB out port so you can charge your phone or other items from its 2,500 mAh battery. Yes it will drain the runtime from your light but if you get caught with a dead battery in your phone it can certainly come in handy.

The included mount is a fixed type that bolts to your handlebars and has a quick release for the light unit. It can swivel a few degrees each way if you have swept back bars. I would like to see a second, rubber strap for easier swapping from bike to bike, but at the price it’s hard to ask for more.


In all I’ve been quite impressed with the RideMate and its features for the price.

Vital stats

  • Price: $50 ($35 on
  • Weight: 149 grams
  • Output: 500 lumens
  • Claimed runtimes: High – 2 hours, Medium – 4 hours, Low – 8 hours.

Field Tested: Light & Motion Urban 800

Light & Motion knows a thing or three about building sturdy bike lights—after all the company got its start building dive lights and still manufactures all its products in Monterey, California.

The Urban 800 is a wonderfully versatile little light—and I do mean little. One inch in diameter and four inches long, it’s about the size of a fat lipstick tube. It also weighs just 122 grams, so it disappears when mounted on your helmet with the included helmet mount. Charging is handled through an included micro USB cable.


The 800 lumens are more than enough to show you the way, and when dimmed to low (175 lumens) it will run for six hours. The single CREE LED shines through a round reflector for a fairly standard beam pattern, but it is more than bright enough to spot potholes in the dark. You don’t have to worry about riding it in the rain either, as it is rated to be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes (though from the demonstrations I’ve seen, it will last even longer.)

On the sides are two amber lights that help increase visibility from the side, but they can also be turned off if you don’t want to use them. The stretchy rubber mount stayed put on a variety of handlebars, and the unit can swivel freely 360 degrees. New for this year is a removable mount that uses the GoPro interface for a clean mount on various other accessories. It can also be used as a flashlight with the included finger mount and lanyard.


Add up all these features and the Urban 800 is my new favorite bike light. It is just one in a whole lineup of Urban models from Light & Motion starting with the $60 Urban 350. Pick which one is right for you and you won’t be sorry.

Vital stats

  • Price: $129
  • Weight: 122 grams
  • Output: 800 lumens
  • Claimed runtimes: High – 1.5 hours, Medium – 3 hours, Low – 6 hours, Flash – 120 hours.

Field Tested: Paul Components Gino light mount


You’ve either taken up most of your handlebar real estate with a GPS, smartphone, or bell, or you’re the type who prefers an uncluttered cockpit. But, you ride plenty when the sun goes down or hasn’t risen yet, and understand the need for proper lighting. If your favorite bike has M5 threaded fork dropout eyelets, mid-fork braze-ons, and/or seatstay rack mounts or rear dropout eyelets, the Paul Components Gino Light Mount is just the ticket.

Made in Chico, California of anodized 6061 aluminum, the 30-gram, 26mm-diameter light mount installs quickly and easily with a threaded bolt, providing a nice attachment point to your battery-operated headlight. Like a car, you benefit from a beam cast at a shallower angle, revealing the true nature of what lies ahead as you pedal to your next destination. You can also attach another one of these $24 gems—which come in silver or black—on the rear of your bike to use your red battery-powered lights.


You may have to replace your provided bolt for a longer one if you’re adding the Gino to an eyelet already occupied by a fender or rack stay, like I did on my wife’s daily commuter bike. She noticed the improved low lighting immediately. Some baskets (like the Portland Design Works’ TakeOut) have braze-ons for the Gino, something to consider if your fork or frame lacks proper fittings.

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in Issue #34 of Bicycle Times. To make sure you never miss a bike review, order a subscription and you’ll be ready for the everyday cycling adventure.



Bontrager releases new taillight designed for daytime use


Cyclists all know that bight lights and visible clothing can make them more visible to drivers and thus safer against collisions, and Bontrager’s newest tail light is designed to cut through the distractions of daylight driving and make it even more difficult for drivers to miss seeing cyclists ahead. According to studies, 40 percent of cyclists’ collisions with cars are from being struck from behind, and having a tail light on during the day makes perfect sense.


The new Flare R light is a USB-rechargeable, 36 gram LED light that pumps out 65 lumens—that’s more than a car’s tail light. Bontrager studied flash patterns and intensity to choose exactly the one that will make it most visible to drivers in the clutter of urban lighting. Bontrager says it is visible in daylight from more than a mile away.


The Flare R has four distinct flash patters: two for daylight and two for night:

  • Day Flash mode will utilize all 65 Lumens in a strategically placed random flash pattern designed to draw a motorist’s eyes. Fully charged run time is 5.75 hours.
  • Day Steady mode uses 25 Lumens of steady illumination and is great for group rides. Fully charged run time is 4.25 hours.
  • Night Flash mode uses an irregular flash pattern punctuated by short pops of increased intensity. Fully charged run time is 23 hours.
  • Night Steady mode provides 5 Lumens of steady light great for consistent nighttime visibility. Fully charged run time is 21 hours.


One of the downsides to battery powered lights is that when the battery dies, you’re out of luck. The Flare R has a built-in safety system, whereby when 75 percent of the charge is used the LED indicator light on the unit turns from green to red. When it reaches 5 percent of its charge it automatically puts itself into a safety mode and dials back the intensity to give an extra hour or two of run time, just enough to get to safety. A full recharge takes only 2.5 hours.

The new Flare R light is available now in Trek and Bontrager retail stores for $60.



Review: Lezyne Macro Drive Duo and Zecto Drive Auto

Lezyne released a host of new lights this year from the 1,400-Lumen Mega Drive headlight to the 7-lumen KTV taillight. Sitting in the middle of that lineup are the 400 lumen Macro Drive Duo and 20 Lumen Zecto Drive Auto.

Macro Drive Duo – $85

Lezyne Macro Drive Duo and Zecto Drive Lights V2—WEB (1 of 3)

The Macro Drive Duo’s helmet mount makes it one of just a few lights that offer both headlight and taillight functionality in one package. This video does a better job of showing the Duo’s many the features and specs than I could in couple thousand words:

While many of us around the office were a bit skeptical of this idea at first, the Macro Drive Duo has grown on me during the test period. Though I’m not a huge fan of helmet mount lights in general, it was quite convenient to mount on my helmet and know I had a decent amount of light spilling out front and rear.

The single rear LED is far brighter than its diminutive size suggests, and it broadcasts a wide swatch of light regardless of the angle of the light on your helmet. That said, in terms of being seen from the rear, I wouldn’t be comfortable without additional rear lighting. Best to think about this as supplementary.

Lezyne Macro Drive Duo and Zecto Drive Lights V2—WEB (2 of 3)

Out front, the 400-lumen “Blast” mode offers more than ample light to be seen in the city, but just a touch less than I’d like for true night riding on dark country roads. Some of that perception might be due to the light’s concentrated center beam, which provides decent illumination in the center of the beam, but not as much ambient spill as I would like in the foreground. Of course, it’s easy to be spoiled by light output these days due to the industry’s equivalent of a lumens arms race.

From my experience, most riders have a preference for handlebar or helmet mounted lights. If you’re in the helmet-mounted camp and find 400 lumens sufficient for your needs, the Macro Drive Duo is certainly worth considering as the $85 asking price is quite reasonable. And, if you like to swap between helmet and handlebar mounting, Lezyne offers an accessory handlebar mount for $4. Just turn off the rear LED and clip it to on. If you’d solidly in the handlebar-mount crowd, Lezyne offers the Macro Drive for $70, which is essentially the same light without the rear LED.


Zecto Drive Auto – $50

Lezyne Macro Drive Duo and Zecto Drive Lights V2—WEB (3 of 3)

Lezyne’s Zecto Drive Auto rechargeable rear light incorporates motion sensing technology to turn itself on and off automatically after being stationary for three minutes. Check out this video for all the specifics.

From the get-go I’ve been very impressed with Zecto Drive Auto. It’s small, light, well constructed and puts out a lot of light. The LED battery level indicators on the side of the light are a very nice touch for knowing when you need to recharge. Event the shortest burn time of 2:45 is ample for most applications. I also liked the broad range of output offerings from the 5-lumen “Economy” mode, which is great for group rides where you don’t want to blind your buddies, to the 20-lumen “Daytime” mode that’s great for being seen on foggy or dreary days.

Also awesome is the super quick, simple and reliable strap or clip style mounting system. There’s a fringe benefit for the mountain bikers in the crowd too. This light works great on long-travel suspension bikes due to it’s small size. Since it protrudes out very little from the seatpost, you don’t have to worry about the rear tire smashing into your taillight on full compression.

Due mostly to force of habit, I didn’t often take advantage of the light’s automatic on/off feature as I’m pretty good about remembering to turn off my lights. Though it is nice to know you light will conserve energy if you leave it on and turn itself back on should you forget.

Overall, the Zecto Drive Auto is a slick little light that’s well worth the asking price.



Bike2Power releases hub-mounted dynamo USB charger


If this thing works as advertised it could get a lot of people pretty charged up. (Sorry, that was some dynamo humor.)

Anyway, Bike2Power has released a hub-mounted dynamo that can be used on nearly any existing bike, has a built-in light, and can charge USB devices. Unlike some similar devices that require a dedicated dynamo hub, the BikeCharge Dynamo can be installed on almost any front or rear wheel and the lights can be set to high, low or blinking modes.


By cacheing the power in a 1,100 mAh battery pack, it can charge devices like smartphones, which are notoriously picky about power draw. The battery means it will continue to power your device even when the bike is stopped, such as at a red light, without interruption.

I predict these types of devices are going to be big in the next few years as more touring and city cyclists want to bring their gadgets with them. I’m also intrigued because it will fit on fat bikes with extra-wide front hubs


At $119 it’s a lot less expensive than a dynamo wheel, and can be switched from bike to bike. The best part is that if it doesn’t fit your bike, they will even take it back for a full refund within 30 days.

We’re going to try and get our hands on one to review, so stay tuned.


An earlier version of this story stated that there are no dynamo hubs available to fit fat bikes. However, the Son 28 135 is in fact available to fit fat bike forks with “rear” rotor spacing.


Light & Motion Urban 2.0 line features waterproof commuting visibility


Earlier this year Light & Motion relaunched its all-new Urban 2.0 line, which features simple, one-piece LED lights that cover a broad spectrum from commuting to performance. They are available in four lumen levels and a rainbow of colors starting at $70.

Made entirely in Light & Motion’s California factory, the Urban 2.0 line won’t leave you hanging when the days get soggy either, as the company draws on its diving light expertise to make them 100 percent waterproof. As technology continues to improve LEDs and batteries, the run times are getting longer, the lights are getting brighter and the cost keeps coming down. The 800-lumen model is also available in a fast-charge version that can be full refreshed in just two and a half hours. Run times are 1.5 hours, 3 hours or 6 hours on high, medium and low, respectively.

The “urban” portion of the name comes from their details like a quick-release, tool-free handlebar and helmet mounts and amber side lights to keep you visible at intersections, where most bike/car collisions occur. Light & Motion has also done away with the rapid blinking mode that can actually distract drivers (as well as drive everyone crazy) and replaced it with a slower pulsing mode similar to what’s used on many motorcycles.

The five models in the Urban 2.0 line include:

  • Urban 350 – $69.99 Colors: Obsidian Stout/Blue Moon
    Urban 500 – $99.99 Colors: Blue Ribbon/Hopsickle
    Urban 650 – $129.99 Colors: Silver Moon/Shock Top
    Urban 800: $149.99 Colors: Anchor Steam/Steamroller
    Urban 800FC – $179.99 Color: Steelhead
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